The Mirror Crack'd: When Good Enough Therapy Goes Wrong and Other Cautionary Tales for the Humanistic Practitioner

Author(s) : Anne Kearns

The Mirror Crack'd: When Good Enough Therapy Goes Wrong and Other Cautionary Tales for the Humanistic Practitioner

Book Details

  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Published : 2011
  • Cover : Paperback
  • Pages : 226
  • Category :
    Individual Psychotherapy
  • Category 2 :
  • Catalogue No : 30480
  • ISBN 13 : 9781855757172
  • ISBN 10 : 1855757176
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Revised edition. This title is as a wake-up call to take seriously the climate in which mental health professionals practice in which complaints and civil actions against psychotherapists and counsellors are on the increase and to sharpen assessment skills accordingly. It is also designed to help professionals to think about the "therapeutic frame" and what can happen to both the practitioner and the client when it is broken and finally to give voice to some colleagues who have been involved in the area of complaints in the hope that you and the organisations under whose codes of ethics you practice will take more of an interest in making those codes and frameworks more relevant to the intricacies of the therapeutic relationship. The message is simple: injuries that happen in relationships need to be addressed in relationships.

Reviews and Endorsements

Anne Kearns has been concerned for many years that the procedures governing ethical complaints against psychotherapists and counsellors in the UK do not adequately address the complexities of the therapeutic relationship, including the reality that psychotherapists and counsellors often work with people whose ability to relate has been significantly impaired and who present powerful challenges to the therapist and to the therapeutic relationship. The Mirror Crack'd is the second book to result from her doctoral research as well as from her work as a supervisor of humanistic and integrative psychotherapists.

'This is a highly creative and useful book that works on at least three levels. First, as a timely warning against the rising tide of legal activity in connection with psychotherapy, much of it highly exploitative and likely to benefit the professionals involved - psychotherapists/victim advocates, bureaucrats and lawyers - rather than the client. Next, as a series of philosophically and psychologically [considered] suggestions about what an approach to ethics and discipline founded on the realities and knowledge of psychotherapy might look like. Finally, as the second part of Kearns' long-term project that seeks to expose the hidden tough-mindedness in humanistic and integrative psychotherapy in order to encourage a re-thinking of ethical and training practices. There's a sense in which this book could only have come from that professional community though its relevance is across the board. It should be read by anyone connected with psychotherapy and counselling, from trainers to trainees.'
- Andrew Samuels, Professor of Analytical Psychology, University of Essex

'This book provides an invaluable resource for best practice of both counsellors and psychotherapists - covering a wide range of issues that make psychological therapists vulnerable to complaints. Clients when they come for help are often at their most vulnerable psychologically and this can so easily transfer into the therapeutic relationship. The professional liability insurance industry within which I work as a Risk Management Consultant advising on how good practice reduces risk welcomes this book. Complaints do not only wreck the life of the complainant but also of the therapist - anything we can do to avoid this unpleasant process will be a bonus. Anne Kearns' book can only be a great asset to the profession.'
- Philippa Weitz, Risk Management Consultant, Howden Professionals

1 The mirror crack'd by Anne Kearns
2 The Therapeutic frame: 'good fences make good neighbours' by Anne Kearns
3 Assessment and risk-management by Anne Kearns
4 Love and hate in the in-between by Anne Kearns and Steven B. Smith
5 Working through an impasse by Patti Owens
6 Where there's smoke there's fire by Theresa Bernier and Anne Kearns
7 The courage to be human: a humanistic approach to conflict resolution by Bee Springwood
8 'Everything's fine here' - or is it? a mirror on our training institutions by Susie Jones
9 Intimacy, risk, and reciprocity in psychotherapy: intricate ethical challenges by Tim Bond

Theresa Bernier, Tim Bond, Sue Jones, Anne Kearns, Patti Owens, Steven B. Smith, Bee Springwood

About the Author(s)

Anne Kearns trained in psychoanalytic psychotherapy in the USA and in Transactional Analysis and Gestalt Therapy in the UK. She is a former Chair and Teaching and Supervising member of the Gestalt Psychotherapy and Training Institute. In 1999 she founded The Growing Edge, a consortium of psychotherapists and other professionals who are interested in the development of the profession of psychotherapy through post-qualification training and consultation. Anne has an MSc in Integrative Psychotherapy and was Course Director of the training in Integrative Group Therapy at the Metanoia Institute from 1994-96 and a Primary Tutor on the Integrative Psychotherapy training from 1994-1999.

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